October 2006

Close-Up on Technology

Are Networked Process Sensors In Your Future?
The latest fashion in machine controls is to network temperature and pressure sensors with fieldbus protocols for faster, more accurate data acquisition, built-in sensor diagnostics, and better machine uptime.

Injection Molding Research Targets Micro-Molding, Sinks and Foams
The IKV in Aachen, Germany, is known internationally as one of the foremost academic incubators of new plastics technology.

NPE 2006 News Wrap-Up: New Materials and Equipment for Decorating In and Out of the Mold
Among the latest developments in decorating and printing at the NPE show in Chicago were digital printers, flexographic printers for bags, and scratch-resistant heat-transfer foils for hot stamping and in-mold decoration (IMD). Also featured was new equipment for laser marking and engraving and an electrostatic charger for in-mold labeling (IML). News in stamping foilsSolidBrush metallic finishes are the latest heat-transfer foils from Kurz Transfer Products.

Processor's Edge

U.S. Molder/Moldmaker Banks on Tandem Tooling
Erwin Quarder Inc. in Grand Rapids, Mich., a mold maker and injection molder of automotive and medical parts, thinks it has found the next big thing in tooling.

Starting Up

Hourly Rate Survey - October 2006
Though economic growth may be slowing now, custom injection molders presented a more bullish picture back in June.

Pricing Update - October 2006
Polyolefin prices rose a bit last month as suppliers implemented summer price increases to make up for higher energy and feedstock prices.

Your Business In Brief - October 2006
Lanxess Renames Styrenics UnitLustran Polymers is the new name of the business unit of Lanxess Corp., Pittsburgh, that includes its Lustran ABS and SAN, Centrex AES and ASA, and Triax ABS/nylon alloys. BMCI and Owens Corning Form VentureBulk Molding Compounds Inc., West Chicago, Ill., and Owens Corning, Toledo, Ohio, have teamed up to expand the use of BMC composites.

Your Business Outlook - October 2006
North American output of blow molded products is up about 4% for the year to date compared with the first three quarters of 2005.


Composites--Part II: Winds of Change Stir Materials R&D
Part II of our review of the big composites show in Paris focuses on news in materials and reinforcements. They include lighter, stronger reinforcements for large parts such as wind blades and growing inroads by thermoplastics to speed up production.

NPE 2006 News Wrap-Up: Materials Handling: A Host of Refinements and Updates
NPE 2006 held no revolutionary changes in dryers, blenders, feeders, loaders, or conveying controls, but widely adopted improvements make the newest models easier to use and maintain—and easier on the budget, too.

Plastics, Electronics and the Environment: How New Global Regulations Affect Materials Choices
Increasing concerns about the impact of chemicals on health and the environment are being translated into strict legislation that may have significant impact on the use and disposal of plastics, particularly those used in electrical and electronic equipment.

Who’s Afraid of Globalization?
Raise your hand if any of the following names send a chill down your spine: China, India, Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, Mexico, Brazil.

Keeping Up With Technology

Arburg Moves Up in Press Size
A new 550-ton model becomes the largest size in the Allrounder S series of horizontal fully hydraulic machines offered by Arburg Inc., Newington, Conn.

Automotive Acetals Emit Less Volatiles
Six new acetal grades introduced at the NPE show in Chicago are claimed to provide lower volatile emissions, improved weathering, and reduced friction and wear.

Calcium Stearates for Smoother Surfaces
Two new calcium stearates have been optimized to improve the surface quality of rigid PVC window profiles and siding and polyolefin films for consumer packaging.

Cavity-Pressure System For Process Monitoring
A new stand-alone cavity-pressure monitoring system designed for "zero-defect" production is the first such system from Kistler Instrument Corp., Amherst, N.Y.

COC Boosts Clarity Of Tough Soft-Shrink Polyethylene Film
A new high-clarity grade of cyclic olefin copolymer (COC) has enabled the Cryovac unit of Sealed Air Corp., Duncan, S.C., to cut in half the haze of its Xenith3 soft-shrink packaging film.

Compounder Tests Extruder Barrel Wear Over 8 Years
Screw and barrel wear costs compounders both pellet quality and output.

Correction: Non-BDE FR for Flexible PUR Foam
Two new brominated flame retardants for flexible urethane foam from Chemtura Corp., Middlebury, Conn., were incorrectly described in our August issue as being based on BDE chemistry, which is the subject of environmental health concerns.

Electric Heater Gives Faster Response
A new electric heater suitable for extrusion crossheads, injection molding nozzles, hot runners, and fluid temperature controllers is said to provide much faster response than other heaters, making it less expensive to operate.

Electric Heaters Shrug Off Moisture
Moisture-related start-up problems with tubular electric heaters are said to be eliminated by new Infini-Seal technology from Gaumer Process Heaters, Systems & Controls, Houston.

Get Better Control of Bump Tubing
A new servo puller from Conair, Pittsburgh, is said to be the only puller for medical bump tubing that has individual position-controlled servo motors on both upper and lower belts.

Higher-Strength Pigments for Packaging
Three new pigments for packaging and other applications are said to offer increased strength and reduced formulation costs.

Highest Density Yet for Extruded, XLLDPE Foams
Last year Sekisui Voltek, Lawrence, Mass., began producing limited quantities of what is believed to be the highest-density crosslinked polyolefin foam in the world.

Hot-Runner Control For 12 to 60 Zones
A new hot-runner temperature controller was introduced at NPE in Chicago by Plastic Engineering & Technical Services (P.E.T.S.), Auburn Hills, Mich.

Low-Gloss Release Agents for In-Mold Painted PUR
A new series of VOC-free spray-on mold releases is designed to impart "ultra-low" gloss to in-mold painted PUR parts for auto interiors.

Mix Head Sprays Structural Sandwich Parts
Several advantages are claimed for a new high-pressure spray mixing head for production of sandwich parts.

More Barrier Layers Add Formability to Cast Film
If high-barrier cast film is more easily thermoformable with three nylon layers rather than one, wouldn't nine or 11 nylon layers be even better?

New 100-Point Parison Controller
A new parison-only controller is designed for easy use and simple installation.

New Controls and New Sizes Of Two-Platen Presses
A new control system, two new sizes of hydraulic two-platen presses, and an upgrade to a micro-molding press are the latest from Battenfeld in Austria (U.S. office in South Elgin, Ill.). First, Battenfeld is introducing its new Unilog B6 control, which it says is faster, more accurate, and more reliable than the previous Unilog B4 system.

New LCP/PPS Alloys Target Complex Parts
Two new LCP/PPS alloys are said to combine the properties of both materials to meet the demands of complex electrical, electronic, and industrial components.

New Mid-Size Two-Platen Press
At the Fakuma show in Germany this month, Krauss-Maffei (U.S. office in Florence, Ky.) will add a 220-ton model to its CX line of two-platen presses, which previously ranged from 38 to 176 tons.Krauss-Maffei Corp. 7095 Industrial Road P.O.

New Robots and Wrist Options
At NPE in Chicago, a six-axis robot powered by the company's standard color touchscreen, fully teachable control was introduced by Ranger Automation Systems, Inc., Shrewsbury, Mass.

New Sheet Loader
A new pick-and-place device automates cut-sheet forming by loading sheet and unloading finished parts.

New Source of Collapsible Cores
A new line of collapsible cores is the first from Hommer Tool and Manufacturing Inc., Arlington Heights, Ill., a producer of custom mold-ready components.

New Weatherable Sheet Meets Extreme Demands
A new line of thermoformable polycarbonate sheets incorporates GE Plastics' highly weatherable Lexan SLX resin for demanding Class A surface applications.

News in Dust Control at NPE 2006
Five exhibitors at the recent NPE show in Chicago brought out devices for dust control in materials handling: The newest version of DeDuster technology from Pelletron Corp., Lancaster, Pa., is the XP Series (photo), which is more economical, more energy efficient, and half the height of previous models but has twice the cleaning area for higher throughput.

Parts Conveyor Has Ergonomic Tilt
Minimize chances of repetitive-motion injuries by making it easier for workers to pick parts off a conveyor for inspection or packaging.

PBTs Tailored for MIDs
Three new PBTs from Lanxess Corp., Pittsburgh, offer improved heat resistance for producing molded interconnect devices (MIDs) with integral circuitry.

Photo-Chemical Foaming Raises Patterns on Sheet
An unusual process uses uv radiation to cause microcellular foaming in narrow bands on the surface of thin t-butylacrylate/methylmethacrylate copolymer sheet.

Plate-Joining Technique Improves Hot Manifolds
A new joining technology for hot-runner manifold plates is said to minimize resin hang-up spots, deliver smoother flow paths, and enhance performance of multi-material molds.

Profile Calibrator Sucks Water, Not Air
An innovative calibrator reduces both the initial price and operating cost of a typical vacuum calibrator.

Softer TPUs Resist Moisture Swelling
Two new low-durometer TPUs offer high moisture transmission and low swell for improved dimensional stability.

Software Speeds Up PET Bottle Design
New "genetic" software technology claims to dramatically accelerate design of PET bottles.

Super-High-Flow TPVs
A new series of PP-based TPVs features a proprietary cure technology that reportedly provides extremely high flow.

Ultrasonic Welders Boast Expanded Capabilities
New ultrasonic welding systems unveiled at the NPE show in Chicago feature enhanced communications, remote networking, and greater power.

'Universal' Controls Upgrade Thickness Gauges
Controls on a 10-year-old web-thickness scanner may be obsolete, but the frame may be mechanically sound.

Vision System Improved to Spot Small Parts
At the NPE show in Chicago, Comet Automation Systems, Inc., Dayton, Ohio, rolled out an improved version of its PE-300 vision system featuring six times greater screen resolution, giving it the ability to sense ultra-small parts or product details in just 0.03 sec.

CW Brabender
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